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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Closure report void: Raigad Police to Bombay court

In their appeal filed before the sessions court in Alibag, the Raigad Police have said that before accepting the closure report, the magistrate should have issued a notice to the complainant, Naik’s wife, Akshata, as required by law.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | November 8, 2020 5:05:47 am
Anvay Naik suicide case, Republic TV, Arnab Goswami, Closure report void, Raigad Police, MUmbai news, Maharashtra news, Indian express newsThe Bombay HC while hearing a connected matter also raised a query about whether the closure report could have been accepted without informing the complainant and giving her an opportunity to file a protest petition.

The Raigad Police have said in their revision appeal that the court order accepting the “A” summary closure report filed last year by the investigating officer in the abetment to suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud is “void’ since his family’s response was not taken.

In their appeal filed before the sessions court in Alibag, the Raigad Police have said that before accepting the closure report, the magistrate should have issued a notice to the complainant, Naik’s wife, Akshata, as required by law. “No notice was issued to the complainant, nor was she given an opportunity to give her say to the report. This renders the entire proceedings allowing the closure report as void. Therefore, the police were not required to take permission from the court to continue with the probe in the case but only inform it which was done,” the appeal says. The Raigad police say that a letter was sent to the court on October 15 regarding continuation of the probe.

Naik’s daughter Adnya had said in a press conference after the arrests that last year she and her mother had met the investigating officer, Suresh Varade, in Alibag. They alleged that he had asked them to sign a statement that they wanted to take the complaint back and had torn the statement when they tried to take a photograph of it.

Varade is facing a departmental probe for “wilful omission of facts”. His closure report had said that the three men named in the FIR had no link between them and there was no evidence regarding their involvement in the offence.

The Raigad Police have filed an appeal against the order of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) passed on Wednesday not granting police custody of Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and two others — Firoze Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda — arrested in the case. The CJM had said that the arrests were “prima facie illegal” and that the Raigad Police had not taken the court’s permission to reopen a closed case.

The Bombay High Court on Saturday while hearing a connected matter also raised a query about whether the closure report could have been accepted without informing the complainant and giving her an opportunity to file a protest petition.

The appeal filed by the Raigad Police through the newly appointed special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat further says that the court’s order refusing to grant custody is “illegal and incorrect” and hence should be set aside. The court had said that the police did not establish a link between the deaths of Naik and his mother Kumud and also did not provide valid reasons for grant of police custody.

The appeal says that the police have recorded statements of 17 witnesses so far, including under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code, before the magistrate stating that this shows that the court was in the know about the probe. It claimed that the probe also included the analysis of over 2 lakh files found in the hard disk and laptop of Naik.

The appeal says that the custodial interrogation of the three is necessary for further investigation, which was not considered. While a say on the appeal is yet to be filed, the plea filed before HC by Goswami says that a “decisively closed case has been reopened with the sole purpose of misusing power, concocting facts and forcefully arresting the petitioner (Goswami) in a prima facie act of revenge and vengeance for his news coverage which questioned those in power in the state of Maharashtra.”

The arguments on the appeal which began on Saturday will continue on Monday before the Alibag sessions court.

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